1939 Marx Army Headquarters Staff Coupe In Original Box

1939 Marx Army Headquarters Staff Coupe In Original Box

Louis Marx & Co. produced some of their most elaborate pressed steel vehicles before WWII. Their streamlined art deco Coupe appeared in several versions from 1933 to 1940. With wide frame-integrated running boards, long sleek front hood, embossed "S" shaped curve on the roof sides, and "V" style grille, it's fairly easy to identify. But it was the few last poorly selling models made in 1939-40 that today have become so difficult to find. One of them was the Marx Army Headquarters Staff Coupe.

This example was purchased from the Donald Kaufman collection; one of the founders of KB Toys. It's comes with it's original auction hang-tag (not shown). In unplayed, near mint+ condition with complete near mint box it may very likely be the finest boxed toy of its kind in existence.

Marx modified their 18 year old logo in 1939 to include a "Made in United States of America" circle of text around their MAR trademark. Many of their toy boxes were designed prior to the change and were printed with the earlier plain trademark. In this way accurate dating of the toy is possible as in the case of the Marx, Army Headquarters Staff Coupe.

The Marx Army HQ Staff Coupe has a steel frame, body, running boards, and bumper. Similar to their G-Man Pursuit Car and Gang Busters Car it features a tinplate Gangster passenger with sparkling machine gun protruding through the front windshield. It's powered with a strong clockwork wind-up motor encased in a black lithoed steel housing, has a separate rear brake, and large solid black rubber tires (with polished tin metal covers) which can be turned right or left.

The frame including the running boards have a baked enamel olive green surface. The black motor housing was also painted similarly. The body, hood, roof, and front grille are embossed steel litho. The front bumper is polished steel.

A two-tone forest and mint green color combination was used then outlined with small yellow and black rivet heads to give it the appearance of armor plating. A large outstretched winged yellow eagle with crossed feathers was lithoed on both doors, on each side of the front hood, and across the rear trunk. Also in yellow is "U.S.A-7" and "H.Q.-7", and "H.Q.-Staff" beneath three large stars. Wide yellow and black stripes delineate the upper and lower body halves.

It comes with the original (and correct) Marx key. Best of all it works great, and even still has the original factory flint.

Two of the main box panels are text printed with fancy reverse highlighting and script. Manufacturer name and address, as well as the earlier 1938 trademark are on the endflaps, were repeated on the endflaps. Two of the main panels are blank. One set of endflaps is hinged to open. The other end has locking tabs which have never been unsealed. The inner flaps on the open side were also printed with a schematic for operation of the car plus directions for maintenance and flint replacement.

It also has a separate small envelope which held a replacement flint (not included). The envelope was printed with a second schematic showing flint replacement. Another paper inside the box indicates the importance of oiling the gears and bearings.

Size: 15"

Sold: Jul. 2011

Price Sold: $ 3400


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Subject: 1939 Marx Army Headquarters Staff Coupe In Original Box

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